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Thread: why everything is so perfect to allow life on earth?

  1. #1
    Banned adi chicago's Avatar
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    why everything is so perfect to allow life on earth?

    why everything is so perfect to allow life on earth?
    sun ,moon ,gravitation etc.?
    at random or by ...?
    • Dum spiro, spero.
      • Translation: "As long as I breathe, I hope."

  2. #2
    I feel compelled to wander into string theory and M theory and that's just math and hard to comprehend when you consider the scale it might possibly include... or something else sounds about as good as anything.

  3. #3
    why everything is so perfect to allow life on earth?
    sun ,moon ,gravitation etc.?
    at random or by ...?
    or by.....chance.
    Whether or not a planet occupies the so called Goldilocks zone, where temperature and other factors determined by distance from its sun are just right for life, is IMO, pretty much chance. However, from my limited, and only half remembered knowledge of astronomy, planets that are huge and therefore have an excessively high gravity are likely to be gas giants and are likely to occur at distances from their stars that would make them very cold. Conversely, a solid planet is more likely to be one that occurrs somewhere in a zone that includes the Goldilocks zone, where a suitable temperature could be present. So it is not pure chance that all these factors occurr together as if one factor is present the planet is liley to be in a position relative to its sun that makes it more likely that some of the other factors will also be present. Given the vast number of stars in the Galaxy/Universe and the correpondingly vast number of orbiting planets, it is not such a huge coincidence if some of them at least have a sduitable combination of characterisitics occurring together. Surely, given the huge numbers involved, it would be an even greater feat of improbability if none of them had the right combination of characteristics.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JimD's Avatar
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    Life developed on earth under the conditions which then existed, and has evolved over time in response to changes in those conditions. It's not that the conditions on earth are so well suited for life; instead, life has evolved to be suited to the conditions that exist.

    Taken a step further, one should not wonder that earth is in the 'proper place' for life to have gotten a start - yes, we're the right distance from the sun for liquid water to exist and all the other variables one could mention are such that life was able to start - but that's a given, since we're clearly here. In other words, only on a planet on which life can exist could organisms develop to wonder about it. Since we're here, the conditions were condign for life - since that life has evolved over geologic time in response to shifting conditions, said life is very well suited for those conditions (almost like it was 'designed' for them).

  5. #5
    Senior Member Wesley's Avatar
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    Jim,

    Your post reminds me of my time in the McGee Rehab in Philadelphia, PA. I saw a lot of gun related SCI'd people there. So much so, that the thought entered my head that bullets must have some special attraction to the spinal cord. But of course, that's ridiculous. I was only seeing a sample of gunshot victims through the filtering of McGee rehab's services. The rest of the victims were either dead or recovering in other facilities.

    it's easy to think the world was designed for us instead of seeing ourselves as a result of natural selection.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley
    Jim,

    Your post reminds me of my time in the McGee Rehab in Philadelphia, PA. I saw a lot of gun related SCI'd people there. So much so, that the thought entered my head that bullets must have some special attraction to the spinal cord. But of course, that's ridiculous. I was only seeing a sample of gunshot victims through the filtering of McGee rehab's services. The rest of the victims were either dead or recovering in other facilities.

    it's easy to think the world was designed for us instead of seeing ourselves as a result of natural selection.
    Wesley,

    I agree with the general principle that you are articulating here. Life evolved to fit the earth and not vice-versa. Life is extremely adaptable. Earth is actually a relatively inhospitable place for certain types of life forms. Let me give a few examples:
    • Oxygen, for example, is extremely toxic due to its reactivity. Because of oxygen, aerobic organisms rely mostly on phosphate-based energy. In anaerobic environments, organisms utilize many other sources of energy, including sulfate.
    • Temperature. Animals such as humans probably started in a temperate climate zone but temperature variations led to the evolution of internal temperature controls (mammals, birds) and insulation (fat, feather, fur).
    • Gravitation. Earth's gravitation is moderate, allowing the development of animals of many different sizes. In a planet such as Jupiter, large animals would not be possible because organic structures would have to be much more rigid. Likewise, gravitation affects the density of the environment. For example, flying, swimming, and walking are all adaptations to gravitation factors.
    • Speed. Organisms must be fast enough to respond to changes in their environment, such as weather. Most changes on earth occur within the time frame of minutes to hours. That is why our nervous systems have reaction times on the order of seconds. In more stable environments, organisms may have reaction times on the order of days or even years, like trees.

    Regarding gunshot wound induced spinal cord injury, you speculate and then dismiss the possibility that bullets have a predilection for the spinal cord. I have long thought that there may be some mechanical factor that tends to direct bullets to the thoracic spinal cord. For many years, doctors thought that gunshots can produce "shock-waves" that travel through the body and damage the spinal cord. Unfortunately, until the 1990's, there were few studies of this subject. The army tried to do some experiments using guns to shoot animals (such as dogs, pigs, deer, etc.) but most of these were stopped due to protests from animal liberation groups. A few published studies of gunshot wounds of dogs and pigs from China suggest that bullets do not damage the spinal cord severely unless the bullet actually strikes the spinal column. High-velocity bullets that pass through the body rather than take complicated trajectories within the body may also have reduced the incidence of spinal cord injury.

    The incidence of gunshot induced spinal cord injury seems high but that is because of the large number of gunshot wounds in the United States. Rhee, et al. (2006) recently did an analysis of cervical spinal cord injuries associated with blunt and penetrating injuries in two major U.S. urban centers. Of 57,532 trauma cases identified, 42.3% were due to blunt or penetrating assault. The incidence of cervical spinal fracture was the highest after gunshot wounds (1.35%), followed by blunt trauma (0.41%) and then stab wounds (0.12%). In other words, less than 1 out of a hundred people with gunshot, blunt assault, or stab wound injuries have spinal cord injury. In all cases of cervical spinal injuries, the bullet entry was between the ears and the neck. Stab wound induced spinal cord injuries are extremely rare and, when they occur, tend to involve sharp thin objects (Ramaswamy, et al., 2006).

    Gunshot injures cause about twice as many thoracic spinal injuries than cervical or lumbar spinal injuries. Le Roux & Dunn (2005) reviewed gunshot wounds in South Africa and found that gunshots cause a twice as many thoracic spinal cord injuries (49%) than cervical (25%) or lumbar (25%). Injuries to the spinal cord without direct contact are rare. For example, Mirovsky, et al. (2005) reviewed gunshot induced spinal cord injuries in Israel between 1977 and 2003, finding only 3 of 26 cases (12%) where the bullet did not contact the spinal cord. However, in 2 of the 4 cases, one had a low-velocity bullet passed through a vertebra, another had the bullet strike the posterior lamina. In only one case, due to a high velocity bullet, there was no sign of injury to the spinal column or spinal cord (perhaps this was due to vasclar injury? Although the authors concluded that neurologic deficits can occur without evidence of direct damage to the vertebral column or spinal cord, it is clear that spinal cord injuries without bullet contact to the spinal column are very rare.

    While most studies suggest that gunshot-wound induced spinal cord injuries have a low incidence of recovery, I am not so sure that this is the case. Aryan, et al. (2005) assessed 60 adolescents who had gunshot induced injuries to the spinal cord: 12 cervical (20%), 31 thoracic (54%), 17 (28%). Of these 34 (57%) had "complete" spinal cord injuries and had little recovery. On the other hand, 19 (31%) patients were ambulatory. At 1 year, significant improvements were observed in many patients, particularly those with cervical injuries. Klein, et al. (2005) reviewed 2450 cases of gunshot wounds at Miami, finding 244 (10%) who had spine injuries. Only two-thirds of the spine injuries were associated with significant neurological loss. Calancie, et al. (2005) did a recent analysis of gunshot induced spinal cord injury in Dade County and found not only a lower incidence but also a greater percentage of women, higher mean age, and many more incomplete injuries. Klein, et al. (2005) likewise concluded that "spine injuries without neurologic signs are not uncommon among patients with gunshot wounds". Gur, et al. (2005) found that 21% of spinal cord injuries in southeastern Turkey were due to gunshot wounds and a substantial percentage of those are "incomplete".

    In my opinion, gunshot wound injury to the spinal column can cause little, incomplete, or complete spinal cord injuries. Recoveries of people from gunshot-induced spinal cord injuries are not dissimilar from other causes of spinal cord injuries. When they present with ASIA A "complete" spinal cord injuries, they tend to recover less. When they present with "incomplete" injuries, they tend to recover more. Many of the studies of gunshot wound induced spinal cord injuries have focused on those who have severe injuries and therefore this has led to unnecessarily pessimistic outcome predictions.

    Wise.

    References
    1. Rhee P, Kuncir EJ, Johnson L, Brown C, Velmahos G, Martin M, Wang D, Salim A, Doucet J, Kennedy S and Demetriades D (2006). Cervical spine injury is highly dependent on the mechanism of injury following blunt and penetrating assault. J Trauma 61: 1166-70. BACKGROUND: The mechanism of injury has not been highly regarded as an important variable when evaluating cervical spine injuries. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of cervical spine fracture (CSF) and cervical spinal cord injury (CSCI) based on mechanism following blunt and penetrating assault to better aid prioritization of management. METHODS: Retrospective analysis from two large urban Level I trauma centers over 87 and 144 months caused by gunshot wounds (GSW), stab wounds (SW) or blunt assault (BA). RESULTS: During the study period, there were 57,532 trauma patients evaluated at the two trauma centers, of which 42.3% were following blunt or penetrating assault. The rates of CSF and CSCI for the various mechanisms were similar between the two centers. The rates for having CSF were significantly different (p < 0.05) for the various mechanisms. GSW (1.35%) was the highest followed by BA (0.41%) and then SW (0.12%). The rates of CSCI for GSW (0.94%) were significantly (p < 0.05) higher than BA (0.14%) and SW (0.11%). For GSW patients, all patients with CSF or CSCI had a point of entry between the ears and the nipple. For SW patients, the wound was directly in the neck below the mandible and above the trapezius muscle. Although many of the SW patients also suffered blunt assault, none of the CSF or CSCI injuries were from blunt forces. In addition, all patients, both blunt and penetrating who had CSCI had neurologic deficit at the time of presentation. Surgical stabilization or tongs were applied in 15.5% (26 of 168) of the GSWs, 27.8% (3 of 11) of the SWs and 31.6% (6 of 19) of the BA patients. There was a BA patient (1 of 4,390) patient with CSF that was neurologically intact that required surgical stabilization and this patient had neck pain on admission. No penetrating injury patients with CSCI regained significant neurologic recovery during the hospitalization. SUMMARY: The rate of CSF or CSCI is low following assault and dependent on mechanism of injury. Thus the concern and extent of evaluation should also be dependent on the mechanism of injury. Neurologic deficits from penetrating assault were established and final at the time of presentation. Concern for protecting the neck should not hinder the evaluation process or life saving procedures. Department of Surgery, Los Angeles County Medical Center + University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90033, USA. peterhee@hotmail.com http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=17099524
    2. Ramaswamy R, Dow G and Bassi S (2006). Pencil is mightier than the sword! Pediatr Neurosurg 42: 168-70. Penetrating injuries involving the spinal cord are not common. The incidence is, however, much higher in armed conflict. In a civilian population, gunshot wounds and stabbings account for the majority of such injuries. A pencil causing penetrating injury involving the spinal cord is very rare. We present the case of a young boy who accidentally suffered a penetrating injury involving the spinal cord from a pencil in his coat pocket. Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK. ramaswamy_mr@yahoo.co.uk http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=16636619
    3. le Roux JC and Dunn RN (2005). Gunshot injuries of the spine--a review of 49 cases managed at the Groote Schuur Acute Spinal Cord Injury Unit. S Afr J Surg 43: 165-8. The Acute Spinal Injury Unit, relocated from Conradie Hospital to Groote Schuur Hospital in mid-2003, admitted 162 patients in the first year of its existence. A large number of these injuries were the result of interpersonal violence, particularly gunshot wounds. AIM: To review patients with gunshot injuries to the spine, with reference to neurological injury, associated injuries, need for surgery and complications. METHODS: A comprehensive database is maintained to collect data on all spinal injury admissions. These data, as well as case notes and X-rays, were reviewed for all gunshot spine patients admitted to the Acute Spinal Injury Unit over a year. Forty-nine patients were identified. Thirty-eight were male and 11 female with an average age of 27.5 years (range 15-51 +/- 8.53). The average stay in the acute unit was 30 (4-109 +/- 28) days. RESULTS: The spinal injury was complete in 38 and incomplete in 8, with 3 having no neurological deficit. The level was cervical in 13, thoracic in 24 and lumbar in 12. Only 9 patients improved neurologically. The spine was considered stable in 43 cases. Stabilisation was performed in the 6 unstable cases. The bullets were removed in 11 cases as they were in the canal. There were 55 significant associated injuries, viz. 14 haemo-pneumothoraces, 16 abdominal visceral injuries, 3 vascular injuries, 4 injuries of the brachial plexus and 3 of the oesophagus, 2 tracheal injuries, 1 soft palate injury and 11 non-spinal fractures. Complications included 3 deaths and discitis in 3 cases, pneumonia in 6 and pressure sores in 6. CONCLUSION: Gunshot injuries of the spine are a prevalent and resource-intensive cause of paralysis. There is a high incidence of permanent severe neurological deficit, but usually the spine remains mechanically stable. Most of the management revolves around the associated injuries and consequences of the neurological deficit. Department of Orthopaedics, Stellenbosch University. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=16440591
    4. Aryan HE, Amar AP, Ozgur BM and Levy ML (2005). Gunshot wounds to the spine in adolescents. Neurosurgery 57: 748-52; discussion 748-52. OBJECTIVE: The incidence of spinal instability after penetrating gunshot wounds to the spine in adolescents is unknown. We describe our experience over a 15-year period. METHODS: Hospital records were reviewed retrospectively. After injury and emergency care, patients were transferred to a rehabilitation facility. Examinations were completed using the American Spinal Injury Association and Frankel scales on admission, discharge, and 6 and 12 months after injury. Severity of injury was described by: 1) degree of neurological damage, 2) degree of preserved neurological function, and 3) presence of instability. RESULTS: Sixty patients were identified with a mean age 15.6 years (+/- 2.7 yr). Twelve patients had cervical, 31 thoracic, and 17 lumbosacral injuries. No operative treatments were used in their care. Thirty-four patients had complete neurological deficits. Mean acute hospitalization was 21.1 days (+/- 22.8 d), and mean rehabilitation stay was 86.3 days (+/- 48.9 d), for a total hospitalization of 107.4 days (+/- 65.9 d). At 1 year, 19 patients were ambulatory and 53 were autonomous. Despite the presence of bony involvement in all, no evidence of spinal instability was noted on follow-up dynamic imaging. Even in two patients with apparent two-column disruption, no instability was noted. At 1-year follow-up, significant (nonfunctional) improvement was noted in the neurological examination (P < 0.0001). Improvements were most notable in those patients with cervical injuries, followed by thoracic and lumbar injuries. CONCLUSION: After penetrating gunshot wounds to the spine, patients at 1-year follow-up examinations have evidence of significant, but nonfunctional, improvement. No evidence of spinal instability was noted in this study, and no surgical intervention was required. Division of Neurosurgery, University of California, San Diego, California, USA. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=16239887
    5. Klein Y, Cohn SM, Soffer D, Lynn M, Shaw CM and Hasharoni A (2005). Spine injuries are common among asymptomatic patients after gunshot wounds. J Trauma 58: 833-6. BACKGROUND: Spine injuries after gunshot wounds are thought to be rare among asymptomatic patients. The occurrence of spine injuries among asymptomatic patients with gunshot wounds was studied to determine the necessity for mandatory spine immobilization and radiographic imaging. METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, initial physical examination, radiographic findings, and final diagnosis and treatment were reviewed. Patients were included if they were admitted to the authors' level 1 trauma center with gunshot wounds to the head, neck, or trunk during a 10-year period. Spine injuries were considered "significant" if the injury was associated with spinal cord injury or required spine-related surgical procedures or prolonged spine immobilization. Spine injuries were defined as "unsuspected" if there were no neurologic findings at admission. RESULTS: During the study period, 2,450 patients who survived more than 24 hours were admitted with gunshot wounds to the trunk, neck, or head. Of these patients, 244 (approximately 10%) had spine injuries, and 228 of them had complete records. Two thirds of the spine injuries were found to be significant, requiring surgery or prolonged immobilization, and 13% were unsuspected. CONCLUSIONS: Spine injuries without neurologic signs are not uncommon among patients with gunshot wounds. Complete radiographic spine imaging is therefore recommended to ensure that spine injuries are not missed in this population. Divisions of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA. yoramkl@clalit.org.il http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=15824664
    6. Calancie B, Molano MR and Broton JG (2005). Epidemiology and demography of acute spinal cord injury in a large urban setting. J Spinal Cord Med 28: 92-6. OBJECTIVE: In a large, single-center study of subjects with acute traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI), we describe the sample population with respect to gender, age, cause of injury, and severity of injury, to see whether these properties are similar to those of other large-scale studies of acute SCI conducted in the past. METHODS: As part of a study to examine the natural pattern of recovery after acute SCI (presented elsewhere), descriptive information was gathered in relation to subject population and injury properties. RESULTS: A total of 229 subjects were recruited. The study population had a higher percentage of women and a higher mean age of men and women than those of most other published studies of acute SCI. A greater percentage of incomplete subjects was also encountered. The incidence of gunshot injury as a cause of SCI was considerably lower in this study than had been the case 10 years previously in Dade County, Florida. CONCLUSIONS: The demography of acute SCI within a major urban center of South Florida suggests a trend toward less severe injury than in years past. These findings support the development of animal models for testing SCI treatment that include cohorts having mild to moderate injury severity, in order to achieve greater clinical relevance. The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 13210, USA. calancib@upstate.edu http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=15889695
    7. Klein Y, Cohn SM, Soffer D, Lynn M, Shaw CM and Hasharoni A (2005). Spine injuries are common among asymptomatic patients after gunshot wounds. J Trauma 58: 833-6. BACKGROUND: Spine injuries after gunshot wounds are thought to be rare among asymptomatic patients. The occurrence of spine injuries among asymptomatic patients with gunshot wounds was studied to determine the necessity for mandatory spine immobilization and radiographic imaging. METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, initial physical examination, radiographic findings, and final diagnosis and treatment were reviewed. Patients were included if they were admitted to the authors' level 1 trauma center with gunshot wounds to the head, neck, or trunk during a 10-year period. Spine injuries were considered "significant" if the injury was associated with spinal cord injury or required spine-related surgical procedures or prolonged spine immobilization. Spine injuries were defined as "unsuspected" if there were no neurologic findings at admission. RESULTS: During the study period, 2,450 patients who survived more than 24 hours were admitted with gunshot wounds to the trunk, neck, or head. Of these patients, 244 (approximately 10%) had spine injuries, and 228 of them had complete records. Two thirds of the spine injuries were found to be significant, requiring surgery or prolonged immobilization, and 13% were unsuspected. CONCLUSIONS: Spine injuries without neurologic signs are not uncommon among patients with gunshot wounds. Complete radiographic spine imaging is therefore recommended to ensure that spine injuries are not missed in this population. Divisions of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA. yoramkl@clalit.org.il http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=15824664
    8. Gur A, Kemaloglu MS, Cevik R, Sarac AJ, Nas K, Kapukaya A, Sahin H, Guloglu C and Bakir A (2005). Characteristics of traumatic spinal cord injuries in south-eastern Anatolia, Turkey: a comparative approach to 10 years' experience. Int J Rehabil Res 28: 57-62. The purpose of this study was to determine the demographic and epidemiological characteristics of traumatic spinal cord-injured patients. The hospital records of 539 patients (416 men, 123 women) with spinal cord injuries (SCIs) admitted to four hospitals that were major referral centers for trauma in the south-eastern region of Turkey from 1990 to 1999 were reviewed retrospectively. The patients with SCI were investigated for two periods; the first period covered patients admitted between 1990 and 1994 during which time an influx of people from rural to urban areas occurred and firearm injuries were common. In the second period (1995-1999) the influx of people declined and firearm injuries were reduced. The most common causes of injuries were road traffic accidents (200, 37.12%), followed by falls (172, 31.90%) and bullet wounds (115, 21.34%). In the first period, incomplete paraplegia was encountered more often than in the second period (P<0.001). In conclusion, in our series, while the leading cause of SCI for the two time periods was road traffic accidents, firearm injuries for the first period and falls for the second period were second-most frequent causes of SCI. In addition, the present study suggests that demographic and epidemiological factors may affect the characteristics of SCI in a region-based population even in a 10-year period of time. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dicle University School of Medicine, Diyarbakir, Turkey. alig@dicle.edu.tr http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=15729098
    Last edited by Wise Young; 12-31-2006 at 08:30 PM.

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